I made it to Round Two! and . . . Reuben Pizza!

I was so excited to learn that I made it to Round Two of Foodbuzz’s Project Food Blog! 😀  Now the competition gets more fierce – out of the 400 who made it to Round Two, only 200 make it to Round Three!

So what is Challenge Two?

“Any food blogger worth their salt can make a classic dish sing, but can they go outside their comfort zone and tackle a foreign cuisine?”

Here is the tricky part – I have to submit my recipe tomorrow!  I am actually leaning towards Nepalese cuisine – since it has some of the same spices as Indian food – and you all know how I love my chicken tikka masala! 😀

Yesterday I had my first honey crisp apple of the season – I paid $2 for it as Whole Foods, but I was fine with that because they are so worth it.  Worst.Apple.Ever.  It was so tart, I couldn’t even eat two slices of it!

Breakfast was hash: diced baked potato, an egg, red and green peppers - oh, and cheese! 😀

Even though it was really windy yesterday, I decided to walk at lunch – I ran an errand to the grocery store and ended up walking for 60 minutes!

I got stuck by a train for a few minutes – isn’t it weird how there is no barrier from the sidewalk to the train??

Ever since Tony’s birthday lunch attempt to go to a good deli didn’t work out, I have had corned beef on the brain!  I picked up 1/4 pound of it at lunch, I had all the rest of the ingredients at home:  fat free thousand island dressing was the base, then shredded corned beef, sauerkraut (that had been drained) and swiss cheese on top.  Oh, and I also sprinkled caraway seeds over the top – that made it extra delicious!

so good! 😀

I am still trying to find a crust that Tony likes – I like a crispy crust, he wants slightly crispy, but chewy too.  Maybe next time I’ll keep his pizza on the pizza pan the whole time and maybe lower the temperature?

Tony's pizza: sausage, mushroom, black and green olives

We slept in until 9:30 this morning and we were both hungry so we went out for breakfast and went to the grocery store – it feels weird blogging at 1:15 in the afternoon!

So come on back tomorrow for submission for Round Two!  And thanks again for everyone who voted for me during the first round!

Is there a cuisine you have yet to try at home?

Hot 100!

Yesterday marks 100 days before the end of the year and I am joining Steve’s Hot 100 challenge for the end of the year.  I’ve realized in the past week or so that I have had too many licks and tastes of things I am making, so I need to be more mindful.  So what are my goals?

  1. Lose 10 pounds.  Sounds easy doesn’t it?  Yet I haven’t lost a pound since I started this blog two years ago.
  2. Portion control – I need to bring my scale out again – I think my 1 cup servings of pasta have gotten a bit big lately.
  3. More fruits and veggies!  Seriously been slacking on this one lately.
  4. Strength train at least 3 times a week.  I think I do too much cardio and not enough strength training.

Thanks Steve for putting this together again this year!

Breakfast was my spicy oats – topped with egg whites, 2 slices of really well done bacon (I actually like it almost burnt!) and swiss cheese.

lots of Frank's hot sauce too 😀

The strawberries were really tart so I let them sit in Splenda for a while 😀

I went to the gym and you would have thought I hadn’t worked out in a year!  Why is it that just a few days away from working out and it’s almost like starting from scratch?  The bikes were taken so I did 40 minutes on the elliptical.

Lunch was my cauliflower mac n cheese – but I subbed in broccoli for the cauliflower.  With a McDonald’s side salad:

I’ve talked about my grocery store having a 50% off bin for meat that needs to be sold that day.  I spun the 50% off wheel and picked up a 1.6 pound bone in ribeye – score!

Tony grilled it to perfection - so juicy!

perfect medium rare 😀

I made twice baked potatoes on the side – none of those pictures turned out, but I used this cheese from Whole Foods – did you know you can just ask them to try any cheese?

Mmmmm....cheese 😀

And thanks to Beth, I have a new screen saver at work!

I love her photography!

Thanks to everyone who voted for me for the Foodbuzz Food Blog Challenge – fingers crossed I make it to the next round! 😀

Happy Friday – hopefully I have party pizza Friday tonight 😀

Such a fun day!

First off – thanks for all your birthday comments yesterday! 😀

I got up early yesterday morning to finish the carrot cake – it needed to be frosted.  I used to have two 8 inch round cake pans, but as usual, I could only find one!  So I ended up putting all the batter into a 10 inch round so it was really tall.  I let it cool overnight, then using a bread knife, cut the cake in half and made it a double layer – note to self – next time I’ll have to make more frosting!

Tony got up and started watching the news.  Every time someone drove by our house they honked their horn!  Tony finally got up and realized the lawn was decorated!  His sister came while it was still dark – she had a sign that said – “Honk – Tony’s 50!”

Thanks Jody!

So Tony wanted to go to a really good deli, and he found one in Skokie.  He had forwarded the menu to me last week and I loved what I saw – I think the Reuben sandwich is probably my favorite sandwich of all time – but I am picky about my corned beef.  If I have to tug at the meat, that pretty much ruins the sandwich for me.  It needs to be tender!

So after a leisurely hour drive, we arrive!  Gotta love the sign in the window!

Seriously my mouth started to water as we walked in.  But guess what?  It wasn’t a sit down restaurant!  I don’t know if we confused two places, but this place was not indicative of the menu we saw – that menu even had a Reuben strudel that I wanted to know what it was!  We walked in and one side was a bagel shop, the other side was a giant deli like you’d find at grocery store.  So weird!

No problem, we’ll just plug Deli into the GPS and find another one.  Um, we could not find another deli!!  Two that came up on our GPS were out of business even.  So after another 20+ minutes of driving, we ended up here:

Superdawg!!

Superdawg has been on so many shows, yet I had never been!  So the obvious choice was to get a hot dog.  My dog had everything but onions and I added hot peppers.  It comes in this box piping hot.

you basically have to eat through the fries to get to the hot dog - um, no problem!

the hot dog was so flavorful and juicy 😀

Hands down, the best hot dog I’ve ever had!  Pretty sure I heart Superdawg!

We then drove to Whole Foods (Kate – your package is going in the mail today finally!)  Just so happens we were walking by the gelato section and each decided to get a small.  Tony got a taffy apple gelato that was amazing.  Hannah got the coffee gelato and I got toffee crunch.

yep, this is insulin worthy!

Hannah had night school so when we got home we opened presents and just hung out.  When Hannah left for school Tony and I went out for sushi.  This is one of Tony’s favorite – a shrimp head – I can’t stand the beady eyes and the way they crunch when he eats it!

I got a crazy boy roll – and Hannah actually got done from school early and met us and ended up ordering the same thing – Tony did ask for hot sauce for me – last time they brought me Tabasco, but this time they gave me a dish of chili oil – holy yum did that kick up my rolls!  Pretty sure there aren’t any calories in oil, right?! 😀

Happy Birthday Tony!

lighting the cake . . . Hannah is an expert since she works at a birthday party place!

see how I need just a touch more frosting in the middle? delicious none the less

I thought I would still enter my food into calorieking, but I decided not to!  I had a great day with you Tony!  He left me the nicest note this morning – he said “I got the greatest gift of all when I met you – everything else is just gravy.”

How lucky am I?! 😀 😀

And while we celebrated my Mom’s birthday last weekend – today is her actual birthday – Happy Birthday Mom!

Happy Birthday to My Best Friend!

Tony is 50 today!  Tony and I met when he was 39, so I’ve been lucky enough to spend both his 40th and 50th birthday with him!

I won’t embarrass him with a lot of pictures when he was little (for the simple fact I don’t have many!) but this picture is one of my favorites of him.  It’s funny, up until about sophomore in high school, he was the smallest kid on the team, but he finished high school at 6 feet 2 inches!

And we’ve been through a lot these last ten years!  We got married, moved into a new home, Tony’s had three knee replacement surgeries and heart surgery!  I feel I was meant to be with him to help him go through the hard times – I can’t even imagine him going through them without me actually!

And while we’ve had our ups and downs these past ten years, we always go to bed at the end of the day happy to have found each other.  We are the perfect fit for each other.

One of the first things I loved about Tony was his sense of humor – he makes me laugh!  On the first email he sent me he said “I am a divorced father of a 10 year old son.  I am Italian and proud that I have no back hair and have separate eyebrows!”  That made me laugh out loud!

And he loves me for who I am.  Whenever I talk about losing weight, he always tells me “you are doing that because you want to, because I think you are beautiful!”  How lucky am I?

I like to call this one "serious model" pose. 😀

You are a wonderful father!

White Sox Fans! 😀

one of my favorite pictures of Tony 😀

God I love him!

Cheers to the next 10 years babe!

So I have the day off today!  We plan on getting some good deli sandwiches around the Northbrook area with Hannah and then he and I are going out for sushi for dinner.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TONY! I love you more every day I know you. 😀

Come back tomorrow for my ultimate carrot cake and broccoli mac n cheese recipe.

Also, don’t forget to vote for my Foodbuzz Food Blog Entry – the link is here.

Tomorrow I am also joining Steve’s Hot 100 – tomorrow marks only 100 days left of the year – check it out!  I’ve been noticing that since I haven’t been taking pictures of everything I’ve eaten this last week, um, let’s just say they haven’t all been the best choices!

Have a great day!

Happy 21st Birthday Joe!

I can’t believe my step-son is 21 already!  For new readers who may not know, I met my step-son when he was 10 years old.  It had to be so strange for him to see his Dad marrying someone – he was the best man in our wedding!  Let’s just take a walk down memory lane, shall we?

graduating from kindergarten!

One of the first things I learned about Joe was that he loved frogs, toads, geckos – he loved them all!  I’ll now give you two of my favorite pictures of Joe as a kid:

I had this picture transferred to a cake for his 18th birthday 😀

Joe and Tony 😀

Here’s a picture of Joe when he started playing football – 6th grade – isn’t he so cute??!!

Now here’s a picture that Tony calls Joe’s “Father Ed” picture.   Yep, I am going to get some shit for posting this one – sorry Joe, I couldn’t help it!

But then they grow up . . .

And while we always thought we would toast Joe’s 21st birthday together, he and his girlfriend Lizz now live in Austin, Texas.

We will miss seeing you today Joe!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!  WE LOVE YOU!

I have not done a full grocery shop this week because I think we need to eat up what we have in the house first.  So the eats this week will most likely be a bit on the boring side!

Breakfast: Steak sammie – 2 oz. vienna bread, 1.5 ounce leftover steak, 2 eggs scrambled and 1.5 ounces of Swiss cheese.

549 calories, 39 carbs, 43 protein, 24 fat and1.5 fiber

It had rained earlier in the morning, but when I looked outside my office window it looked clear enough to walk.  I changed my clothes, got 2o minutes into my walk when I heard something.  Thunder!  I kept going until it started raining like cats and dogs – luckily the path I take has big trees for cover – I got the most soak walking the last 200 feet to my building.

Oh, and while I was walking, I saw a cute little house that would be perfect for me and Tony!

I couldn't imagine living in a house that big!

Lunch was a lemon pepper sammie on a light English muffin and black bean soup on the side.

476 calolries, 77 carbs, 37 protein, 5.3fat and 19.3 fiber

And dinner was leftover pasta with my pasta bolognese that I defrosted – tasted just as good as the day I made it!

476 calories, 48 carbs, 40 protein, 12.8 fat and 1 fiber

Don’t worry Joe – we’ll toast to you tonight! 😀

And thanks for Tony for fixing Hannah’s car – Hannah freaked out the other night when she came home to steam and smoke coming from her car – turns out it was just a radiator hose that needed to be replaced.  I couldn’t even identify a radiator hose! 😀  Thanks sweets!

What did you do on your 21st birthday? I was trying to think what my sister and I did, but having worked in bars since we were 18, I don’t think it was that big of a deal – do you remember Jenn?